The Mime Order by Samantha Shannon is a tour de force of non-stop thrill and adventure. Across the course of The Mime Order, it's easy to see where Shannon's strengths lie. She's a puppeteer author, who exercises careful control throughout her meticulously plotted novel, playing with pace and tone to create an intense and unpredictable sequel to her much-loved debut. Fans of The Bone Season honestly won't be disappointed.
Author: Samantha Shannon | Publisher: Bloomsbury | Pages: 528 | Source: Sent For Review |
Paige Mahoney has escaped the brutal penal colony of Sheol I, but her problems have only just begun: many of the fugitives are still missing and she is the most wanted person in London.
As Scion turns its all-seeing eye on Paige, the mime-lords and mime-queens of the city’s gangs are invited to a rare meeting of the Unnatural Assembly. Jaxon Hall and his Seven Seals prepare to take center stage, but there are bitter fault lines running through the clairvoyant community and dark secrets around every corner.
Then the Rephaim begin crawling out from the shadows. But where is Warden? Paige must keep moving, from Seven Dials to Grub Street to the secret catacombs of Camden, until the fate of the underworld can be decided. Will Paige know who to trust? The hunt for the dreamwalker is on.
*This review may contain spoilers for The Bone Season – you have been warned!*
MY THOUGHTS: So here we are, starting where The Bone Season left off. Paige has fled Sheol I, leaving Warden behind her, only to realise the danger has yet to fade; she's London's most wanted, and a handful want her dead. And so our heroine's tale continues – and, at a hefty 500 pages, she has a long ride ahead of her. If anything, it's a testimony towards the ingenuity and intrigue of Shannon's creation that four words are able to arouse such excitement within a reader – Welcome back to Scion, indeed.
The Mime Order succeeds on many levels – characterisation, world-building, plot – but, most of all, it succeeds in standing as a tale in its own right. In a series of seven, it's easy to assume the second book would merely act as a 'bridge' between the beginning and the middle. Instead, what we have here is a conformation that Shannon's series is strong enough to sustain this lengthy tale, without it ever becoming dull or falling into the trap of info-dump. Furthermore, the freedom allowed for major plot twists (buckle up for the ending, readers), allows the sense of unpredictability to remain.
In fact, in many a way, The Mime Order succeeds at everything The Bone Season did – and, indeed, didn't. Given the vast amount of world-building was conducted throughout The Bone Season, The Mime Order left a lot more room for character development. In particularly, Paige's flaws – specifically, her impetuous, and sometimes irrational, nature – became more apparent, thus creating a more rounded character. On a similar note, I feel as if the relationship between Paige and Warden was dealt with wonderfully throughout The Mime Order – it's subtle and understated, not detracting from the plot.
Another fantastic element of The Mime Order is that it never fails to surprise. Small details, such as the moth symbol's true meaning, as well as new, unexplored territory, like the catacombs of Camden, made for a real delight. Simply brilliant.
This all said, it's important to note that The Mime Order does rely on the reader having a strong recollection of the previous book in the series. So, my advice? Give The Bone Season a quick reread or skim through beforehand. I'd also like to note that, despite the somewhat slow beginning, The Mime Order really does speed up as the novel progresses – and it's definitely worth the bumpy start.
Overall, The Mime Order is a novel of epic lengths. In my review of The Bone Season, I said this is a series I'll be following from start to end; now, I am able to say this is a series I'll be reading and rereading for years to come.
“Some revolutions change the world in a day. Others take decades or centuries or more, and others still never come to fruition. Mine began with a moment and a choice. Mine began with the blooming of a flower in a secret city on the border between worlds.”
The Mime Order is a distinctive mix of well-paced action and astounding creativity, tied together by stunning prose –“Safe inside my dreamscape, I curled up inside the poppy anemones, drenched in the warm blood of rebirth”.
*Audible.com contacted me in regards to the audiobook of The Mime Order – here's a sample of the audiobook for you to decide whether this is something you may be interested in!*